Carlos Miguel "Carlo" Rufino

About Carlos Miguel "Carlo" Rufino

Term: 2013-2014

Carlo Rufino grew up with Rotary always being a part of his life. From an early age he was competing in the Rotary Miniolympics pushed on by Wash Lou and his “uncles” were PP Tito Panlilio and PP Gigi Zulueta. He was sponsored by his father Charlie Rufino and joined the club in 2008. They are the only father-and-son presidents in the club’s history.

He was also the youngest president to be elected. He remembers being daunted by the task when first asked by Gov. Robert Kuan to lead such a prestigious club with many members much older than him. The realization dawned on him however that if the Club wanted to recruit the next generation of members, then a young president would set the right example.

In hindsight it turned out well as Carlo’s term became known as the “disaster season,” owing to an unfortunate series of national calamities and crises: the Bohol Earthquake, Typhoon Yolanda, and the Zamboanga siege, apart from the usual habagat and flooding in the city. His youth proved to be an advantage as he was able to handle the rigors of traveling to Bohol to deliver relief goods and later on to Guiuan to distribute boats in the wake of Typhoon Yolanda.

“During my term, we packed over 20,000 relief goods — the largest relief packing operation that the club had ever done, because of all the
disasters. The Rotary Anns were very helpful, especially, First Ann Cat who handled much of the purchasing for the groceries,” President Carlo recalls

“Even the Rotarian families turned out to help in the packing. It was a great bonding experience for everyone to pack and distribute the relief goods from children all the way to the parents and grandparents, in some cases late into the night and for several days straight.”

“We also tapped into our network. We were able to tie up with Air 21 through Melissa Romualdez, and my tenant in Times Plaza 2Go delivered the goods for free. The Army also picked up goods to deliver by C5 through army reservist Rtn. Shalimar Tamano.

“We had the whole logistics network, which was exactly what PP Rene Limjoco kept stressing during his term: disaster preparedness and relief. It became more and more important that we organize ahead to handle disasters that seem to be increasing in scale.

“There were fundamental problems, like getting all the bottled water. When disaster strikes, all the relief agencies begin to pack relief goods, so that supplies often run out in groceries and supermarkets.

“Then there’s the matter of redeploying the funds and getting the goods where they were needed. I think the biggest problem with Yolanda was getting the logistics to work out effectively. Our relief goods took a week to get there, while people were starving on the ground, but planes could only carry so much and the trucks were backed up for miles.

“So it really affected our logistics in getting our relief goods to those locations. But the result is the progressive learning picked up from each term.

“Gov. Pepito has been saying that we should now consider starting an initiative to preposition relief goods. You get to see how the worldwide agencies do it. They do it professionally, they prepare or relocate all the relief centers ahead of time, so that they are ready to deploy quickly. This eventually led to an MOA signed between PureGold and District 3830 to allow goods to be packed and sent ahead.

“We donated the first batch of 10 large pump boats with 12 HP engines to Guiuan, albeit it was only funded with direct donations from Sister clubs of RC Singapore which donated 5,000 Singapore dollars and RC KL Diraja with P444,724. We started the global grant for the Gift of Boats project during my term and PP Reggie Nolido was able to continue the gift of boat since then.

“You have to think long-term. How to prolong the assistance after the initial relief operation is done, so that basically, infrastructure has to come in, training, and rebuilding of lives. That’s a very long process. Donating boats will let the fishermen go back to their livelihood so they are not dependent on aid.”

PP Carlo Rufino’s accomplishment report on service projects for RY 2013-2014 certainly manifested commendable leadership.

For Vocational Service Projects, Books Across the Seas led the list. A total of 130,531 books were distributed to 244 recipient schools and libraries. The 15M books achievement was celebrated with a Read Along Festival in coordination with Philippine Daily Inquirer. There was a special assignment of books for typhoon-affected areas that would bring nine container-loads of books to areas affected by Typhoon Yolanda.

For Livelihood, the Club signed a MOA with Bistro Academy and turned over a P360,000 scholarship grant for 20 trainees as part of the Food and Beverage program.

For Educational Service Projects, a new flagship project for PP Carlo’s term was launched called Mentoring the Mentors Program. It focused on changing public school teachers’ view to not only educating children but forming their values toward becoming nation builders. The Club launched four modules that benefitted 215 public school teachers in Parañaque, Muntinlupa and Pasay City.

The Club supported the Stepping Stone Learning Center, with a P1M grant for a scholarship program for special children, and also effected a matching grant for the Laundry & Baking training program. It also donated P301,000 to for the scholarship needs of six hearing-impaired students.

The Club supported the Stepping Stone Learning Center, with a P1M grant for a scholarship program for special children, and also effected a matching grant for the Laundry & Baking training program. It also donated P301,000 to for the scholarship needs of six hearing-impaired students.

Relief Operations involved various areas in the South. In Bohol, President Carlo and First Ann Cat Rufino personally distributed relief goods for the earthquake victims. The Club distributed P96,338.80 worth of relief goods in Tagbilaran and turned over a P75,000 donation to RC Tubigon.

The Club also donated P50,000 to the District Relief fund for victims in Cebu. For Habagat victims, 7,303 relief goods were distributed, while P100,000 worth of blankets was donated to dislocated families in Zamboanga.

For Relief Operation: Yolanda, over 13,000 bags of relief goods all funded from members of the club alone which totalled P372,500 were distributed to survivors in Iloilo, Roxas, Tacloban and Cebu. Pres. Carlo & First Ann Cat personally visited Cebu to work with the clubs there for relief distribution.

Fundraising Activities included the following: The Club organized a Service through Fellowship Charity Concert at the Hard Rock Café through Governor Pepito Bengzon who secured the performers for the cause of the rehabilitation of areas affected by Typhoon Yolanda.

The Last Christmas Bazaar of the club netted an income of P995,000 to fund club functions and events.

Lastly, it was during this year that the Club sponsored three new clubs to the district: RC Makati Gems, RC Makati Magilas and RC Makati Business District. They have become strong additions to the district.